The westbound Long Island Expressway between exits 61 and 60 was closed for about 12 hours Wednesday, state officials said, following an early morning tractor trailer accident that damaged an overpass.
Officials said NYSDOT inspectors examined and repaired the bridge at Patchogue-Holbrook Road after the trailer portion of a tractor trailer truck struck the overpass at 4:36 a.m. Wednesday and overturned, blocking all travel lanes. The tractor portion of the truck continued for a short distance before the driver was able to bring it to a stop, police said.
“The bridge is stable and they have finished their repairs,” said Eileen Peters, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday.
The driver, identified only as a 50-year-old man, was not injured. Police said he was issued two summonses: one, for a mechanical violation, the other for a non-moving violation. Police said the truck was operated by Sears Ready Mix.
Deputy Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said at an afternoon news conference Wednesday at the bridge that the road had reopened earlier than expected thanks to swift repairs.
“The New York state Department of Transportation was able to make the necessary repairs,” he said.
Sini added however that commuters should still check traffic updates before heading out in the next few days. The state “will be doing further repairs to the overpass bridge which may result in future delays and closures,” he said.
When asked whether police had determined the cause of the crash, Sini said it was still under investigation.